There’s a path over the water past strange buildings and whimsical sculpture, leading through the mind of a dying Dreamer. He’s trying to build one last creation as his legacy to his granddaughter, and then you show up in his head and start poking into strange mental corners, solving puzzles and unlocking long-lost memories. It’s probably rude to explore someone’s mind without their clear invitation but the Dreamer’s imagination is an amazing place, filled with irresistible dioramas that demand a closer look. This makes for a strained relationship between the player and Dreamer, so although the presence is a helpful one it’s still strange and unexplained, and he’ll frequently block the path with a new puzzle or challenge. It’s not a dangerous mindscape, in that there’s no risk of death and nothing ever threatens any level of violence, but finding all the memories and seeing their influence shape the final creation of a dying imagination should take a fair amount of puzzle-solving skills.
Zed arrived on Kickstarter today complete with a demo that shows off the feel of the game. There’s a total of one puzzle in the entire thing, and technically you could probably beat it in five minutes, but that would be missing the point. Paths travel over water past twisted buildings, and branch off to little islands with floating sculpture. A giant blue sun rests at a dead end, the path circling around as filaments of plasma arc off the pulsing surface and harmlessly graze you as you walk by. The sky goes dark as you round a bend, and the bronze stars on a lighthouse at the side of the path catch the sun with a shimmering glow. It’s hard to walk too fast because everywhere you look there’s a detail to appreciate.
The demo can be gotten from Zed’s Kickstarter page and it’s worth a download. I’d have liked to have seen more puzzles, and the requirements for some of the path sections to rise up and connect you to the next area are unclear, but the art design is truly gorgeous. The pitch video below shows quite a bit more, including different areas and more puzzles, and is well worth checking out for its wonderful strangeness.